Fraunhofer USA of Plymouth, Mich., the American subsidiary of Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Germany's largest research and development organization, recently won four awards totaling $2.9 million from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) for R&D projects that MEDC expects will enhance job opportunities in Michigan. The Fraunhofer Center for Laser Technology received three of the four awards; their biggest was to develop a novel low-cost diode laser and then transfer the technology to Michigan-based laser manufacturer Visotek. The company will also create new automotive manufacturing and homeland security applications for the laser. Fraunhofer CLT will also develop laser processing technologies tailored to the packaging and assembly of alternative energy sources and storage devices, such as high-capacity batteries and fuel cells, to be used in hybrid vehicles and other advanced power storage systems. The company's third project will deal with miniaturized optoelectronic and microelectromechanical (MEMS) and bioMEMS devices used in the telecommunication and medical implant/device industries. Fraunhofer's Center for Coatings and Laser Applications received the fourth award for developing carbon-based materials and coatings with applications ranging from the automotive industry to biocompatible implants, fuel cells, cell phones, MEMS, sensors, optics and electronics.